H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj (Muniji)
March 2003


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International Yoga Festival
Geeta's Wedding Newlyweds come to Mother Ganga
Special guests come to Parmarth
Bhagwat Katha Inauguration


Upcoming Events
Pujya Swamiji's upcoming itinerary


March 1-7  -- Rishikesh


From March 1-6th Uttranchal Tourism and Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh (Himalayas) jointly hosted the International Yoga Festival. Over 125
students came from 16 countries, including USA, Canada, UK, Russia, and Netherlands. Students learned Kundalini Yoga, Yogasanas, pranayama, Meditation, Power Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Reiki, Ayurveda and Acupressure from Yogacharyas and experts from across the globe. The Yogic Experts came from USA, Russia, Spain and India.



Practicing yoga on the banks of Mother Ganga

Additionally, revered saints including H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Pujya Muniji), President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, H.H. Swami Veda Bharatiji of the Swami Rama Sadhana Ashram and H.H. Swami Shakshatkritanandji of the Dayananda Ashram delivered enlightening lectures on various aspects of Yoga and Indian Tradition.

Yogacharyas included:

     Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Kundalini Yoga Expert from Hollywood, California.
     2.     Dr. Vijay Kaushik from Russia
     3.     Brahmachari Vishwa Pal Jayantiji from Kotdwar, India
     4.     Gurudass Khalsa from Spain
     5.     Rohini Khatri from Hyderabad, India
     6.     Pratibha Joshi (Mataji)
     7.     Sadhvi Bhagwati
     8.     Mohan Bhandari
     9.     Karmen Kamla



Students learn yogasanas, meditation and also perform sacred Ganga Aarti

Delegates also enjoyed a special Power Yoga demonstration by Brahmachari Vishwa Pal Jayantiji and a cultural dance program by the students from Sanskar Vidya Mandir and Prakash Bharati schools.

          The entire Himalayan atmosphere was charged with divine energy, due to so many people participating in sacred yoga. Through this experiential learning, we hope to both provide the world with the secrets of yoga and to reach out to all of humanity in a spirit of peace, openness, sharing and universal brotherhood.

  Delegates also took part in the daily evening Ganga Yagna and Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan as well.

Each evening at sunset, they gathered with Pujya Swamiji, all of the rishikumars and the other pilgrims to offer their prayers to God and to experience the sublime Divine Connection which is palpable during this sacred ceremony each evening. 



It was also the special celebration of the 60th birthday of Respected Gurmukh. Pujya Swamiji gave a beautiful lecture about how typically in Indian tradition one moves away from the attachment to the world and toward a spiritual life, a life of seva and sadhana, at the age of 60. "But, our dear and beloved Gurmukh has already been living this life of seva and sadhana for decades! She did not wait to turn 60 to turn toward God. She is already living the divine, spiritual life."






On March 6, we had a special guest of Sri Prananandaji, from California, USA. Sri Prananandaji had come in November with a large group of devotees and this time -- although Rishikesh was not on his planned agenda -- came for just a day to have the darshan of Mother Ganga and to be with Pujya Swamiji.




One of everyone's highlights of the Festival were the two satsang/question-answer sessions with Pujya Swamiji. He spoke with His usual mix of  profound wisdom and great humor, urging the participants to delve into all aspects of yoga, not merely the asana practice. "Yoga is about how you live," He said. "In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says it beautifully, 'Sthiram, sukham, asanam'.  That�s it.

"This sutra of Patanjali means, 'If it is stable and comfortable, then it is asana.' Not yoga, but asana. If it is stable and comfortable, then it is a yoga posture. But, that which makes us stable and comfortable in our lives is yoga. You must learn the difference between an asana and Yoga. If it is stable and comfortable, then it is Asana. But, to become stable and comfortable in our lives is Yoga. If your posture is stable and comfortable, but your mind is not stable, then your life can never be comfortable..."

"We are not only here  to learn  these postures and then take them and teach others, but we are learning how WE can become stable. Yoga does not only shape your body, but it shapes your mind and senses, and your desires and your karma also. Whatever you experience in life can be shaped through yoga..."

"We clean our bodies through breathing exercises and through cleansing exercises, but still so much junk is there, not just the junk of this birth and this week, but life after life. Yogic life is not just being pure here during this week, but a true yogic life is when you put a sign not on your mailbox, but on your heart box that says, 'No Junk Mail'. Don�t accept any junk mail into your heartbox. You must decide during this Yoga Festival � No More Junk Mail. We must stop receiving junk mail through our eyes, our ears and our senses. Then we can say we are practicing Yoga."

"When you go back home, you must be able to say not only that 'My posture is stable' but also that 'My mind is stable. My heart is stable. My spirit is stable.'"

Pujya Swamiji also answered a wide array of questions ranging from how to deal with the death of a loved one to how to help a loved one who is abusing drugs and alcohol, to what we can do to help preserve the environment.

All in all, it was a divine time, and the delegates all were taught, touched and transformed.

Our dates are fixed for next year, March 1-7, 2004. Mark your calendars NOW!

Special feast for the yoga students on the banks of Mother Ganga

March 6: Rishikesh
Nearly two decades ago, a young girl was orphaned and taken in by Pujya Swamiji and Parmarth Niketan. Today, that young girl, Geeta, was married on the holy banks of Mother Ganga.


 The entire ashram was full of tears at the beauty of their young Geeta. Pujya Swamiji said that it was amazing: even people with parents still don't have that much help putting together a wedding. But, here although she is parentless, she had so many people helping and taking care of everything.  The entire ashram and the entire community of Swargashram came together and planned, arranged and executed a beautiful wedding.


Pujya Swamiji blesses Geeta while Shri S.K. Dasji, the Principal Secretary of Uttranchal watches


January 9: Rishikesh

It was a season of weddings, as Neil Shah came to Parmarth with his new bride Juhi, to seek Pujya Swamiji's blessings before embarking on their life together. Neil is the son of Shri Hasubhai Shah of USA, a long time and very dedicated, selfless Trustee of IHRF and one of Pujya Swamiji's closest devotees.
"I have watched dear Neil grow up and whenever I saw the most divine girls all over the world I would always think about marrying them to Neil! But, Neil found his own divine bride and I am so, so happy today to see the perfect choice he made."



March 17-18: Rishikesh
HOLI - On this beautiful festival of colors (see http://www.parmarth.com/updates/lectures/holi.htm for meaning) Pujya Swamiji combined festivity with piety. The HOLI celebration began on the 17th with a huge cleanup of the entire Swargashram area. Armed with buckets and brooms, all of the youth of the entire Swargashram -- under Pujya Swamiji's guidance and direction -- cleaned the banks of Mother Ganga all the way from Ram Jhula down to Parmarth Niketan. The divine Rishikumars and guests of Parmarth Niketan also joined in, as did Pujya Swamiji Himself. One of the youth said, "Pujya Swamiji Maharaj must have picked up a barrel full of trash and thrown 300 buckets of water Himself. He is a great inspiration to all of the youth of this area. We feel so blessed to have Him guiding our lives."

Then, on the evening of the 17th - the youth organized a special HOLI puja program with Pujya Swamiji as the Chief Guest. Rather than get them riled up with colors and large fires, Pujya Swamiji spoke about what HOLI really means and how we can not only play HOLI, but actually become HOLY. Then, He put them all into a divine meditative trance with "Mein to kab se teri sharan mein hun," a beautiful song He wrote during His sadhana in the jungles.

March 18 was the day of colors and everyone played HOLI with great love and joy.



March 19: Rishikesh
Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji came to Parmarth Niketan to take part in the divine Ganga Aarti. He was giving a workshop/retreat in Rishikesh and brought many of the students to Parmarth for the beautiful and sacred ceremony.


Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji joins Pujya Swamiji for the divine Ganga Aarti


March 20: Rishikesh

The Honorable Chief Justice, Shri Devadutt Madhav Dharmadhikariji, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, India came with his family to Parmarth Niketan for the Ganga Aarti.



March 22 New Delhi
Pujya Sant Shri Rameshbhai Oza was delivering Shri Ram Katha in Delhi and Pujya Swamiji was invited to come and grace the audience with His darshan and pravachan. On this opening day, Pujya Swamiji sat on the large chariot for the Shobha Yatra and then delivered a beautiful lecture on the meaning and implication of the life of Shri Rama.


March 24 -- Rishikesh
Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji -- during his time in Rishikesh for his art of living workshop -- hosted a meeting of the revered saints of Rishikesh -- including H.H. Pujya Swami Dayanandaji and H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanandji (Pujya Muniji) -- to discuss the current violence and animosity on the basis of religion in the world, and how this is spreading in India. The revered leaders spoke about ways that basic values of Hinduism and the universal love inherent in the culture could be transmitted throughout India.



March 29 -- Rishikesh

  H.H. Pujya Swami Chinmayanandji Maharaj, President of Parmarth Ashram Haridwar and Parmarth Lok Badrinath as well as distinguished Member of Parliament came to Parmarth Niketan with 5 Members of Parliament and 20 parliament officers. They were on a special Ganga pilgrimage to study the ways that the holy waters of Mother Ganga can be cleaned, in the Ganga Action Plan. However, in the midst of their hard work to assess and plan for the cleanliness of Mother Ganga, they wanted to come and perform Her divine aarti.



H.H. Swami Chinmayanandji Maharaj, MP and Honorable Shri Butasinghji,
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee perform sacred Ganga Aarti

project updates


India Heritage Research Foundation purchased a new piece of land, on the holy banks of Mother Ganga, approximately 10 km from Parmarth Niketan,
in a
village of Rishikesh called Veerpur.
The rural development project
is well underway.



The following will be part of the new rural development project:

1. Gaushala - Cow protection program:  Each day we pray to �Gau Mata� [Mother Cow] and we savor her milk as nectar. Yet, we let her wander stray on the roads, hungry and homeless.


To address this unfortunate situation, we are building a new gaushala on this land where cows will be brought from off of the streets and given food, shelter and medicine if necessary for any diseases.

They will eat fresh grass and live in pristine air of the Himalayas. Our goal is to give Gau Mata a safe, healthy environment in which to live and to make the roads clean and safe for drivers and pedestrians.


2. School and Women's Vocational Training Program for local, impoverished children: IHRF is already running and sponsoring nearly 100 schools spread out over Northern India. We will open a new free school and women�s vocational training program in this rural land for the local children and women.



3. Ash Immersion: When people come to perform the sacred ceremony or when ashes are sent by post, they will be kept here in a special, sacred room in which there is continuous chanting of special Vedic mantras as well as various holy images. Then, the sacred vidhi will be performed here, in a quiet, secluded environment in the waters of Mother Ganga.



4. Organic Farming: The land will be used for the cultivation of fresh fruits and vegetables, all grown without the use of any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.





5. Medicinal Gardens: There will also be the cultivation of special, sacred, medicinal plants with ancient healing powers, which will be used in Ayurvedic and Naturopathic treatment.




On March 9, we had a special program there in which we had a large tree plantation program. All the guests from abroad, including Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and her yoga students from Los Angeles, as well as the rishikumars and all of the local children, women and men planted sacred Amla trees.





6. Girls� Orphanage: We already have a gurukul/orphanage for young boys on the premises of Parmarth Niketan. This land will become home for abandoned, impoverished and orphaned girls. Not only will they be given the basics of food and shelter, but they will also be given an education which will provide them with the great gifts of literacy, hope and faith. Additionally, they will be trained in useful skills such as gardening, sewing, handicrafts, Nature Cure treatment, etc. which will make them productive members of the community.





7. Clean & Green program and Irrigation: The project also includes a large scale clean up program and also providing running water for this village community who currently subsist with a great shortage of water. Ganga flows on the edge of the land, but the facilities do not currently exist to bring the water into the fields and homes. Thus, we are implementing systems (including wells, etc.) to bring water into the community.


On March 9, we held a large function on the land for the entire village. Pujya Swamiji gave a beautiful lecture in which He explained all of the plans for the land and how this small, yet historically significant and sacred village would become a land of education, of culture and spiritual prosperity.


He told all of the local people (who are farmers) that we are starting an organic fruits and vegetables garden, but that He wants all of them to also participate.




The village of Veerpur gathers enthusiastically to hear Pujya Swamiji speak about His rural development plan


 "Now," He said. "You have to go all the way to the market, which is far. You're never sure if you'll sell all of your fruit/vegetables. Maybe you will make 5 rupees per kilogram. But, now we will teach you a new, safe and healthy way of farming without chemicals. And we will buy 100% of your crop directly from you, so you never will have to bother with going to the market and you will never worry about selling your crops."



"Also," He continued,  "If you were earning 5 rupees in the market, we will give you 6 rupees per kilogram. But, you have to farm without chemicals or any pesticides. We will teach you." He received a loud round of applause from the village, agricultural community.   "There should not be one woman or child in this village who cannot read and write. We will set up a school and a vocational training program/adult education program." Again, He received enthusiastic applause and the village people were filled with gratitude.




While there, Gurmukh and the entire group from Los Angeles agreed that this would be a perfect Kundalini Yoga Retreat Center - the energy is divine, the land is beautiful and the possibilities are endless....





Upcoming Events

June 4-23
, 2003
Join us for a sacred yatra to the holy land of Mansarovar and Mt. Kailash in Tibet. Travel with revered saints, distinguished dignitaries, divine rishikumars on this once in a life time yatra. See www.kailashmansarovar.org for full details.



May 5-11
led by H.H. Yogi Protoplasm

May 5-15
Free Acupressure camp led by Dr. Suman Shah
and many other renowned acupressure specialists.

May 14-21
Bhagwat Katha by Shri Madan Mohan Shastriji

May 23-30
Bhagwat Katha by Acharya Shrikant Vyasji

Please click here  for information on upcoming Parmarth Yoga and Meditation camps.
Pujya Swamiji's Itinerary
April - June, 2003
April  May June
1-30 Rishikesh 1-31 Rishikesh 1-3 Rishikesh
        24-30 Rishikesh
Please note: Pujya Swamiji's itinerary is always subject to change. Prior to coming to Rishikesh, please make sure to confirm whether He is here by phone or email.
Contact Information:
Phone: (0135)  2434301, 2434308, 2440088 Fax: (0135)) 2434399
From abroad, dial: + (91-135) instead of (0135)